Saturday, August 10, 2019

From glory to glory...

“So death will come to fetch you? - No, not death, but God Himself.  
Death is not the horrible specter we see represented in pictures.  
The catechism teaches that death is the separation of the soul 
from the body; that is all.  I am not afraid of a separation 
which will unite me forever with God.” - St Therese of Lisieux

"The Pope and the faithful had gathered in the catacombs in  the evening of August 6, 258.  Being Christians in a cemetery, theirs was an illegal assembly punishable by death.  There is every reason to believe that the catacomb Mass that evening was to be offered specifically to strengthen the faithful to endure the new persecution... Pope Sixtus was preaching... soldiers burst into the crypt.  The congregation drew together before them, baring their breasts and extending their necks to signify that they were ready to die to protect the Pope.  But Sixtus would have none of that.  He came forward and they took him, along with four of his deacons.
    Another deacon, Lawrence, cried out:  "Father, where are you going without your deacon?"  Sixtus replied:  "I do not leave you, my son.  You shall follow me in three days."
    The Vicar of Christ was taken up the nearby stairs and beheaded on the spot, along with the four deacons.  For some 1,500 years his name was mentioned in the Canon said by every Catholic priest of the Latin rite, anywhere in the world.
    Deacon Lawrence was temporarily spared in order to give the persecution officials access to the treasure supposedly accumulated by the Roman church.  What he actually brought forth before the prefect of Rome was not gold and silver, but a representative group of the poor and needy. ...The angry prefect commanded that Lawrence be roasted to death on a gridiron.  He joked with his executioners about turning his body over because 'one side is broiled enough'." 
From The Founding of Christendom, Vol I - Warren Carroll
This series a MUST READ! Excellent, excellent!

St Lawrence
Deacon, Martyr - d. 258
Considered third patron of Rome
(after St Peter and St Paul)
Feast Day - August 10

Among the Christian martyrs of ... The early Roman days ...
Was good St. Lawrence, who was famed ... For his unselfish ways ...
He loved the humble and the poor ... And helped them all he could ...
And in those persecution days ... In their defense he stood ...
The Romans had the notion that  ... The Church was rich in treasures ...
And they demanded all its wealth ... With threats of dire measures ...
"Here are the riches of the Church" ... St Lawrence then replied ...
As he embraced the sick and lame ... And beggars at his side ...
And so they roasted him alive ... Above a fire slow ...
But on the martyr's face remained ... A happy, holy glow.

From Poem Portraits of the Saints, James J Metcalfe (1956)
Click here: St. Lawrence - YouTube
Painting above:  Martyrdom of St Lawrence ~ Pellegrino Tibaldi (1592) ~ Basilica, El Escorial 

St Lawrence, pray for us!

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